Muscle strains can happen to all – regardless of level of exercise expertise! Strains occur when our muscles are overstretched or torn and can result from fatigue, overuse, lack of warm-up or improper exercise form.
Severity and Grades
Grade 1 – Considered the least severe and characterized by minimal pull or strain to the muscle.
Grade 1 strains are accompanied by little to no pain. Individual may experience loss of range of motion, but general strength should remain.
Grade 2 – Considered moderate in severity. Individual will notice a considerable amount of swelling and pain associated with the strain. Characterized by decreases in range of motion and strength in strained area.
Grade 3 – Considered most severe. Individual could experience complete loss of muscle function until the tore fibers are completely healed.
RICE: Treating less severe muscular strains
The RICE method can be used to expedite the healing process of strains.
Rest: Let the muscle rest to prevent further damage.
Ice: Ice the affected area intermittently to reduce swelling.
Compression: Compressing the affected area can also cut down on swelling, and further expedite healing.
Elevation: Elevate the affected area to let fluid drain and further reduce swelling.
*Please consult with a physician on specific instructions for caring for severe strains.*
Recovery and Reintroduction
Listen to your body! Stretching the strained area can promote range of motion improvements (remember, the stretch should not cause pain!) and purposeful strength training can target the specific muscle group to hopefully prevent further injury.
Remember to be patient. Resuming exercise at a too strenuous a level can inhibit the healing process and increase your chances of injury in the future.
Our highly qualified and educated personal training staff can help navigate suspected muscle strains and post-injury care. Contact us at 828-266-1060 for questions!
By Dustin Oliver
Wheeler, Tyler. “Muscle Strain”. WebMD. 16th May, 2018. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/muscle-strain#2
“Muscle Strain”. Harvard.edu. Harvard Health Publishing. December, 2018. https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/muscle-strain-a-to-z
Summer can arguably be the best season of them all, especially here in the high country. Welcoming rays of sunshine entice you to walk through these hilly terrains to take your breath away. Although the great exchange for a crisp mountain breeze to fill your lungs with the best Carolina air is priceless. If only a portion of vacation’s rest could carry over into the fall and winter seasons, then it would be perfect. This month is the best chance to further train your summer body and improve in one’s sleep hygiene. According to the National Sleep Foundation, almost 30% of the adult population report sleeping in shorter durations (six or fewer hours of rest each night). This public health concern can lead to increased risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause morbidity (Insufficient sleep: Evaluation and management, Maski K., Jun 2019). Hence, the demand to enhance one’s sleep quality remains at chief priority in hopes to reverse these unfortunate results.
As we all need some sort of time reset and rejuvenate the purpose of sleep is largely misunderstood. Some believe sleep’s true intention may be for memory consolidation, restoration, or even energy conservation. Some much takes place during the four stages of sleep, yet our main goal remains to only target criteria of time to rest to quantify it as sufficient. Specifically, the target time frames vary with lifetimes as infants should aim for 16-18 hours daily, young adults – adults seven to nine hours maximum, and those 65 years or older seven to eight hours daily. Other factors outside of duration do contribute to a better quality of sleep as well and may reduce wake times throughout the night or delay sleep onset (Stages and Architecture of Normal Sleep, Kirsch D., Jun 2019).
Do you struggle to fall asleep after going to bed? Try practicing a routine before placing your head to a pillow, and be sure to adhere to a schedule. Attempt to awaken within the same hour each morning and use a journal to log your durations if necessary. For those tempted by a daytime nap, be sure to limit it to a half-hour at most before sleep inertia settles. Otherwise known as a period described as a diminished sense of alertness and decreased cognition after waking. One of the best and most beneficial routines to train your body to easily attain sleep is to exercise!
The importance to improve bodily health is impeccable, but failing to give attention to sleep hygiene may reverse those goals recently achieved in the gym. Always strive to sleep your appropriate duration and set your surroundings so that you may have the best potential rest. Relax and exercise and repeat so you may embrace long term health for lifelong bliss.
Insufficient sleep: Evaluation and management, Maski K., Jun 2019, Retrieved Jul 12, 2019
Stages and Architecture of Normal Sleep, Kirsch D., Jun 2019, Retrieved Jul 10, 2019
By: Javari Crowther
I’ve been working as a personal trainer since 2013, and in that time I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a lot of really great people. The great thing about being a trainer is that everyone is unique. Age, fitness level, and physical limitations all impact the type of training programs I develop, but the single biggest, and most diverse factor, is the objective of the client. Some want weight loss, some are after strength, and others want to get better at their favorite sport. Over the years I’ve tried to guide my clients down a steady path of progress toward their goals following three main principles, and today I want to take the time to explain these so that you too may walk to road of success.
What exactly do you want to do?
I’ve found that one thing that can really help with achieving a fitness goal is to be quite specific when setting it. This may seem obvious, but it is a very important first step, as we can only measure our success if we first define what success is. I often hear “I want to lose weight”, which is a fine goal, but how much? By when? Answering these questions really help frame our exercise and put each day into context. Rather than saying “I want to lose weight”, putting it this way would be better:
“I want to lose 5 pounds by the end of next month.”
According to some recent studies, the increase in urbanization and lack of green spaces has a direct correlation to an increase in mental illness. Research shows that recreating in nature improves mental health by relieving anxiety and the occurrence of negative thoughts, which can result in a lower risk of depression (“First in Science: Outdoor Recreation Improves Mental Health – National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL)”, 2018). Natural light increases your serotonin, which is one of your body’s feel-good chemicals, contributing to an overall sense of well-being. Sunlight also provides us with vitamin D, promoting calcium absorption, reducing inflammation, and increasing immune function.
Physical activity in the outdoors can be exhilarating and offer challenges that give one a real sense of accomplishment, improving self-esteem, as well as encouraging growth. Being outdoors can even be therapeutic and has helped many who have suffered from severe trauma.
Fortunately, the High Country offers plenty of land dedicated to outdoor recreation. With mild temperatures in the spring and summer, those from off the mountain have been flocking to this area to escape the heat for decades. The climate provides a comfortable environment for participating in all sorts of outdoor activities, including mountain biking, water sports, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, fishing, cycling, climbing, and bouldering. If you are new to any of these activities, you will usually find the outdoor community is welcoming and more than happy to offer some assistance. For more information about getting involved or finding the right gear for your new outdoor endeavor, visit http://www.exploreboone.com/outdoors/
First in Science: Outdoor Recreation Improves Mental Health – National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL). (2018, September 18). Retrieved May 10, 2019, from https://www.ncel.net/2018/07/09/first-in-science-outdoor-recreation-improves-mental-health/
By: Michael Darling
When most people think about fat loss, they usually think cardiovascular exercise is the only means of burning calories and losing weight. Resistance training is a great way to lose weight as well. Combining the two can be the most powerful way for fat loss success.
Advantages of Resistance Training for Fat Loss
Strength training helps your body build muscle. Having a higher muscle percentage in the body raises your resting metabolic rate. This requires your body to expend more energy throughout the day to keep your bodily systems flowing. This increases the number of calories burned per day. An important part of resistance training is helping maintain the muscle you already have. When you lose weight, you lose a combination of fat and muscle. Resistance training helps to maintain the muscle already there while burning off the excess fat.
Advantages of Cardio for Fat loss
Cardio has an advantage of allowing you to exercise at a moderate intensity for a much longer time period when compared to resistance training. This allows you to maintain exercise longer in order to burn more calories and in return, allows you to burn off fat more quickly. Cardio can also be done more frequent when compared to resistance training due to recovery time. Cardio allows you to vary the intensity more easily in order to boost your calorie burn.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is considered one of the best cardiovascular exercises. It involves burst of strenuous exercise followed by a rest/much lower intensity period. Resistance exercises can also be added into this type of training. This training increases your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Consuming extra oxygen in a longer recovery phase from training allows for a greater increase in energy expenditure. This will cause you to lose fat more quickly. The important thing is finding what works best for you and sticking with it. Don’t stick with cardio because you’re scared of the weight room. Sign up with one of our trainers to get a well balanced exercise program designed just for you. You’ll see fat loss in no time!